The Nature of My Backyard

I love wild birds, flowers, herbs, trees, butterflies, bugs and anything else Mother Nature places in my backyard for me to enjoy! I gladly share them with you.

Homemade Bird Treats

My Homemade Bird Treat recipes are easy and fun to make.  They will provide the energy your backyard birds need to help them survive.

Add these treats to your platform or tray feeder and watch them disappear!  I usually make a double batch and freeze the rest.  That way I have plenty on hand when the weather turns nasty.

Cornbread Crumbles are loved by Blue Jays, Titmice, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Juncos, Cardinals and many other songbirds.  Make ahead and freeze in individual packages so you have a ready supply when the weather turns cold.   Hint:  When you make a batch of cornbread, double the quantities and set one batch aside for your birds! Here’s how to make this simple, but nutritious winter warmer for your birds:

Cornbread recipe or:

Use your own cornbread recipe

Solid Crisco or Lard and/or

Chunky Peanut Butter

Raisins or other small bits of dried fruits

Bake the cornbread and allow to cool.  Once it has completely cooled you can begin to make the bird treats:

Crumble your cornbread; add enough Crisco and or peanut butter to hold the crumbles together—do this by stirring in a little at a time with a fork; finally, add a small amount of raisins or other dried bits of fruit and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Shape into rectangles that you can add to your bird feeder from time to time when the weather turns cold.  If you save the plastic trays that hold commercial suet, you can press your cornbread crumbles into those trays.  Slide into a zippered plastic bag and freeze.  (Make sure the trays are washed out with soap and water and rinsed thoroughly in hot water first.)

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P B & J For the Birds

This may sound simple, but the birds adore it!  Two slices of day old bread or end crusts, generic peanut butter (chunky is their favorite), and generic jelly is all you need.  Make the sandwich as you normally would for yourself, but this time cut it into half one direction, then half the other direction.  Keep cutting the sandwich into smaller sections and then leave in fridge for 20 minutes or so.  It will be easier to handle, but still a little messy.  That's what makes it so appealing to the birds!  The bread and peanut butter provide instant energy and fat content to keep them warm in the coldest, wettest weather.  The jelly revs up their metabolism and keeps them going strong all day long!   Leave several sections in your tray or platform feeder to please your feathered friends.

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Crumby Treat: 

Simple ingredients appeal to a wide range of wild birds, including blue jays, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers, finches and more.  When wet or cold weather hits, serve this treat to your birds using either a suet basket or log, or tray or platform style feeder.  These ingredients will give your backyard birds lots of energy, and essential nutrition to keep their feathers in tip top condition.  The fat content will help keep your feathered friends warm in the worst weather.
What you’ll need:

·         Slices of day-old bread (crusts are best) or day old rolls

·         Chunky peanut butter—generic brands are fine

·         Raisins or currants, or other dried fruit cut into small pieces

·         Black oil sunflower seeds

In a bowl break up the bread or rolls into small pieces (crumbs); add peanut butter, dried fruit pieces and sunflower seeds.  Stir with fork to incorporate all ingredients.  This mixture can be pressed into recycled suet trays that have been washed with soap and water and thoroughly rinsed and dried.  Or you may add the mix to plastic freezer bags and freeze until ready for use.  Make extra to keep on hand for a quick energy boost for your flying visitors.

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Special Bird Treat Cake

This will have them literally fighting for a piece!  Cut into very small squares, and add to either a tray feeder or a gazebo or platform type of feeder so that all different kinds of birds can have access to this nutritious and healthy treat.

What you’ll need:

·         1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

·         ¾ c. sugar

·         2-1/2 tsp. baking powder

·         ¾ tsp. salt

·         ¼ c. canola oil

·         ¾ c. milk

·         1 egg

·         ¼ c. chopped nuts-unsalted  (I used almonds because that’s what I had on hand, but you could use walnuts, peanuts or a mix of different kinds of nuts)

·         1 T. dried currants

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a baking pan (square 8”x8” or rectangle 9”x7” or round 9” diameter that’s 1-1/2” deep)

In a large mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients, stir lightly to combine.  Then add the oil, milk and egg.  Mix until all ingredients are incorporated evenly.  Sprinkle in the nuts and the currants & stir just until combined.

Spread into baking pan—mixture will be thick.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle—if it comes out clean, it’s done.

Remove from oven and let cool.  Cut into tiny squares and crumble them onto your feeders.  Stand back and watch as your birds discover their special treat!  Once my birds found this delectable cake, word spread quickly and many other birds came to join in the feast!

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